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19.03.2020 | Hepatobiliary

Examining LI-RADS recommendations: should observation size only be measured on non-arterial phases?

Abdominal Radiology
Guilherme M. Cunha, Heejin Kwon, Tanya Wolfson, Anthony C. Gamst, Yong Eun Chung, Min-Jeong Kim, Sang Won Kim, Claude B. Sirlin, Kathryn J. Fowler
Wichtige Hinweise
Guilherme M. Cunha and Heejin Kwon have contributed equally to this work and are first co-authors.

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To investigate if size measurements of liver observations is more variable in the arterial phase as suggested by LI-RADS and assess potential higher instability in categorization in this particular phase. Secondarily, to assess inter- and intra-reader agreement for size across phases.

Materials and methods

Patients with liver cirrhosis who underwent multi-arterial phase MRI between 2017 and 2018 were retrospectively selected. Three radiologists measured liver observations in each phase, independently, in a random order. Mean size between early and late arterial phases (AP), 2, 3 and 10 min delay and the number of observations crossing the LI-RADS size thresholds (10 and 20 mm) per phase were compared using McNemar’s test. Reader agreement was evaluated using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and bootstrap-based comparisons. Bonferroni’s correction was applied to pairwise comparisons.


94 observations (LR-3, LR-4, LR-5, and LR-M) were included. Mean sizes (mm) were late AP: 19.9 (95% CI 17.2, 24.2), 2 min delay: 19.8 (95% CI 17.1, 24.0), 3 min delay: 19.8 (95% CI 17.2, 24.0), 10 min delay: 20.2 (95% CI 17.5, 24.5) (p = 0.10–0.88). There was no difference between phases in number of observations that could have changed category due to variability in size (p = 0.546–1.000). Inter- and intra-reader agreement was excellent (ICC = 0.952–0.981).


Measurements of focal liver observations were consistent across all post-contrast imaging phases and we found no higher instability in LI-RADS category in any particular phase. Inter- and intra-reader agreement for size was excellent for each phase. Based on these findings, size measurement could be allowed on any post-contrast phase, including the arterial phase, if deemed appropriate by the radiologist.

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